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☷ Somerset County New Jersey - Somerset County Introduces 2022 Budget with Reduced Tax Rate  and Increased Services

☷ Somerset County New Jersey - Somerset County Introduces 2022 Budget with Reduced Tax Rate and Increased Services

Somerset County , state New Jersey
| 5| 1
   SOMERVILLE , NJ –
   The Somerset County Board of County Commissioners introduced a county budget that preserves vital services for the county’s more than 345 , 000 residents while providing a responsible budget that provides for a sustainable fiscal outlook and preserves the AAA Bond Rating critical during the current inflationary times .
   “We’ve introduced a budget that ensures we can maintain , and in many cases expand , the programs and services Somerset County residents expect and deserve whether ongoing services like recycling and Senior Wellness Centers , or responses to emergencies like the COVID pandemic or Hurricane Ida , ” said Somerset County Commissioner Director Shanel Y . Robinson . “Additionally , our responsible budgeting maintains the County’s AAA bond ratings , a vital financial tool for helping our municipal and non - profit partners invest in long - term , major projects to support their residents as interest rates rise . ”
   During the height of the COVID pandemic , Somerset County expanded its contact tracing , public and in - home vaccination , and testing programs resulting in the highest vaccination rate in the state . At the same time , the County continued delivering all of its services through virtual and other innovative solutions that protected residents’ health . As the pandemic eases , the County has returned to in - person services such as group meals and exercise programs at Senior Wellness Centers (
   see video
    ) ; in - person events including various commission meetings , the Diversity Festival , and the Mobile Clerk’s Office; and restoring full transportation routes .
   “We were clear from the very start that this budget needs to be fair to Somerset County’s residents both in terms of continuing to provide and expand the services they need as well as maintaining a minimal tax impact , ” said Somerset County Commissioner Deputy Director Melonie Marano . “I’m proud that we are able to accomplish both goals while reducing the tax rate by 2 . 75 percent . ”
   The proposed budget of $255 , 041 , 585 includes $210 , 542 , 543 to be raised through property taxes . The average county home valued at $476 , 772 will see a small increase in the County’s portion of their property tax bill of about $26 . The primary costs driving increases for the year were health insurance , debt service , and pension obligations . The County also had to manage the unexpected costs related to responding to Hurricane Ida and increases to mental health services to support residents for COVID or Hurricane Ida related conditions .
   A public hearing on the proposed County budget will be held at 6 p . m . on Tuesday , May 24 . Residents are encouraged to watch and participate in the public hearing at the Commissioners’ Meeting Room on the third floor of the Administration Building at 20 Grove Street , Somerville , NJ or via a link contained on the County’s website or the Facebook page at
   www . facebook . com/SomersetCountyNJ
    . Prior to the meeting questions and comments can be sent to
   countyboardmeeting@co . somerset . nj . us
    .
   The 2022 County budget will:
   
   Maintain 248 centerline miles of County roads and 752 bridges .
   
   Maintain 38 parks , recreation and open space areas encompassing 15 , 000 acres .
   
   Fund nearly 200 shared services with local governments and other organizations .
   
   Provide funding to the Somerset County Business Partnership for Tourism campaigns and the new Film Commission .
   
   Fund the Vocational - Technical High School , Raritan Valley Community College , Board of Social Services , and Somerset County Park Commission .
   
   Fully fund the Somerset County Emergency Services Training Academy .
   
   Continue providing COVID vaccination and testing at no cost to the residents of Somerset County .
   The budget includes shared services that save taxpayer dollars:
   
   Providing municipalities and schools with easy access to shared services via the innovative Somerset County Marketplace .
   
   Recycling for all 21 municipalities , including schools .
   
   Transportation services for five municipalities and three non - profit organizations .
   
   Graphics and printing services for 13 municipalities .
   
   Vehicle maintenance for 14 municipalities .
   
   Vehicle fuel for over 50 agencies .
   
   Statewide emergency services training .
   
   Health services for nine municipalities .
   
   Full dispatch service for 16 municipalities ( one out of county ) , 41 fire departments and 17 EMS stations .
   
   A statewide cooperative purchasing program .
   Somerset County Board of County Commissioners
   Somerset County is governed and managed by the Board of County Commissioners . The Board consists of five members with one or two elected each year in November in the general election , and they each serve three - year terms . Commissioners serve as liaisons to all divisions in the county .
   To stay up to date with Somerset County events and information , sign up for
   free email alerts
    at
   www . co . somerset . nj . us/subscribe
    or follow us on
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